PhD Position – Quantum Sensing with Levitated Particles

PhD Position – Quantum Sensing with Levitated Particles

Published Deadline Location
17 Jun 31 Jul Delft
Challenge: Realize the potential of quantum technologies
Change: Develop quantum sensors using levitated systems
Impact: Improve mechanical sensors and deepen our understanding of gravity

Job description

Quantum technology encompasses all new technologies that require quantum physics to work [1]. Sensors based on oscillating mechanical systems are an important class of these emerging technologies. They are promising candidates to improve current technology such as positioning systems, inertial navigation and force sensing; and to advance fundamental research, such as the search for the quantum nature of gravity.

 

For these vibrating systems to enter the quantum realm, a high degree of decoupling from the environment is required [2]. One viable way is to use electromagnetic radiation to levitate these objects in vacuum. Levitation also has other advantages, such as a high degree of dynamic control and a sensor mass range spanning several orders of magnitude, from femtograms to nanograms [3].

In the recent years, we have made great progresses in controlling the motion of such levitated systems down to the level of single quanta [4,5]. This has allowed us, for example, to generate non-classical states of the surrounding electromagnetic environment [6]. The next challenge is to extend quantum control to sensing applications [7].

 

You will answer the question “How can quantum measurements and control techniques be used in macroscopic sensors?”. First, you will set up a table-top experiment using optical tweezers to trap nano- and microspheres in vacuum, a quantum-limited detector to measure their motion and opto-electrical control actuations to generate the motion ground state. Then, you will implement new control schemes to generate non-classical motional states, in order to enhance our sensitivity to detect forces of both coherent and impulsive nature. With your work, you will enrich the family of quantum sensors and open up new applications for levitated systems, such as gas sensing and gravimetry [7,8].

 

  1. Kurizki, G. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 112, 3866–3873 (2015).
  2. Aspelmeyer, M. et al. Rev. Mod. Phys. 86, 1391–1452 (2014).
  3. Gonzalez-Ballestero, C. et al. Science 374, eabg3027 (2021).
  4. Tebbenjohanns, F. et al. Nature 595, 378–382 (2021).
  5. Magrini, L. et al. Nature 595, 373–377 (2021).
  6. Militaru, A. et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 129, 053602 (2022).
  7. Degen, C. L. et al. Rev. Mod. Phys. 89, 035002 (2017).
  8. Rademacher, M. et al. Advanced Optical Technologies 9, 227–239 (2020).

Specifications

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Requirements

To be considered for the position, you must have

  • MSc degree in Physics or a closely related field.
  • Excellent communication in English, both written and oral.
  • Passion for doing experimental research.
  • Interest in theoretical modelling of your experiment.

In addition, we appreciate experience in general experimental physics, optics and laser, nanomechanics and electronics, but it is not a requirement for applicants.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from €2541 per month in the first year to €3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Employer

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Department

Department

With more than 1,100 employees, including 150 pioneering principal investigators, as well as a population of about 3,600 passionate students, the Faculty of Applied Sciences is an inspiring scientific ecosystem. Focusing on key enabling technologies, such as quantum- and nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and materials for energy storage and conversion, our faculty aims to provide solutions to important problems of the 21st century. To that end, we educate innovative students in broad Bachelor's and specialist Master's programmes with a strong research component. Our scientists conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied research in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Engineering Physics. We are also training the next generation of high school teachers.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.

Additional information

If you would like to request more information about this position, please drop me an email at M.Rossi-1@tudelft.nl.  

 

About our group

We are a young research group working in the field of quantum macroscopic systems. We aim to push the boundary of quantum physics (and its applications) to the extreme. Our ambition is to observe exotic quantum phenomena such as delocalization and superposition on larger and larger system to bridge the gap between the classical and the quantum worlds.

In our Lab, we strive to create an inclusive, diverse environment where all diversities are welcomed and respected. We believe this fosters a virtuous environment where everyone can thrive and improve.

The Rossi Lab is part of the department of Quantum Nanoscience in the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft University of Technology. Delft is a lively university town close to larger cities as The Hague and Rotterdam (both ~15 minutes by train) and with Amsterdam within about an hour train distance. 

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • Doctorate
  • TUD05448

Employer

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Location

Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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Application procedure

Please submit your motivation letter, CV, a summary of your Master thesis, a list with grades of the courses that you took during your studies, and names and email addresses of two referees as one single PDF file and send it to M.Rossi-1@tudelft.nl. Please also arrange for these two reference letters to be sent to the same address.

Applications will remain open until the position is filled. 

Application procedure

Application procedure

Please submit your motivation letter, CV, a summary of your Master thesis, a list with grades of the courses that you took during your studies, and names and email addresses of two referees as one single PDF file and send it to M.Rossi-1@tudelft.nl. Please also arrange for these two reference letters to be sent to the same address.

Applications will remain open until the position is filled. 

Make sure to apply no later than 31 Jul 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).